Friday, May 2, 2008

Trembley Blasts Media

Just a day after manager Dave Trembley berated the media for criticizing the Orioles’ lack of hitting this season, the team suffered from exactly that problem Thursday, managing only three hits and two runs.

It was the 14th game this season in which the Orioles have been limited to three or fewer runs. They have won only three of those games. They have scored only one run five times and either two or three runs four times each, but the manager said his team deserves credit for what it has done more than criticism for what it has not.

But the fact is the Orioles haven’t scored enough runs to allow the pitchers any mistakes at all. And while the pitchers have performed rather well, they have made some mistakes that proved costly because of the dearth of hitting.

“I think it’s more timely hitting—you need the two-out hit with guys on base—that’s what you need,” Trembley said. “Obviously, we need to do a better job when there’s a guy on third and less than two outs, and find a way to get the guy in. Those kinds of things probably are areas that I’m more concerned with.

“You’ve got to get a good pitch and you’ve got to hit. From what I see, when we get our pitch, we don’t hit.”

But Trembley would not admit that he is getting frustrated with the shortage of clutch hits that would get more runs across the plate. He has more of a wait-until-next-time mentality.

“I think the bats are going to start heating up on this road trip,” Trembley said as the club began packing for its second trip to the West Coast in 11 days. “The weather’s going to be tremendous, it’s gong to be big crowds, nice ballparks. We’re going to have some early hitting sessions on the road.”

Rays 4, Orioles 2: Two of the three batters walked by Brian Burres scored, and Johnny Gomes hit a home run to send the Orioles to the loss. Baltimore managed just three hits and five baserunners off Rays starter Matt Garza and two relievers. The Orioles went down in order in their last four innings.

Burres was coming off eight innings of shutout ball in which he didn’t walk a batter, but he gave up a walk and the first run off him in 13 innings in the first inning. The only Orioles runs came on Adam Jones’ second home run.

Notes, Quotes

• LHP Brian Burres didn’t pitch badly for six innings, but he walked one batter and gave up a hit to another to start the seventh. The four runs were the first he allowed after 13 shutout innings. And after not walking a batter in his eight-inning stint last time out, he walked the second batter of the game.

• RF Nick Markakis was back in the lineup after getting his first off day of the season Wednesday. Markakis played in every game but the season finale in 2007. His average had fallen from .345 on April 19 to .287.

• LF Luke Scott was given the day off after going 0-for-7 in the first two games of the brief homestand and 3-for-31 in his last 10 games. His average has tumbled from .386 to .284.

• SS Luis Hernandez, who injured his right ankle sliding into third Wednesday but remained in the game until the end, sat out Thursday though trainer Richie Bancells said Hernandez could play if needed.

• 3B Melvin Mora, who is hitting far better with runners in scoring position than his overall average, is also hitting far better on the road than at home. After going 0-for-4 on Thursday and 1-for-11 on the three-game homestand, his home average was .200, while his away average stands at .271.

• RHP Greg Aquino, who had been designated for assignment Tuesday, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Class AAA Norfolk.

By The Numbers: 30—RHP Daniel Cabrera didn’t walk a batter in his April 23 start at Seattle. It was the first time in 30 starts that the still developing right-hander did not issue a base on balls.

Quote To Note: “Obviously, you’d have to use some common sense. I have to look down the road. I understand there is an interest from fans and everybody wants to know, but I can’t give answers to things that I don’t have answers for and I don’t like to speculate because I get myself in trouble when I change my mind. So I’d rather not change anything.”—Manager Dave Trembley, about what he’ll do with adjust his starting rotation.


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